St John’s Wood: International professional community with artistic heritage
PUBLISHED: 15:38 13 March 2015 | UPDATED: 18:22 13 March 2015
Home to Abbey Road Studios of Beatles fame and the pristine lawns of Lord’s cricket ground, it is little wonder that St John’s Wood’s rich cultural heritage - coupled with its prime property and bustling high street - make it a haven for some of the country’s top musicians, intellectuals and entrepreneurs.
High-end home conversions and new developments are springing up in almost every corner of the district, catering for professionals in search of conveniently located living and a growing community of international buyers seeking spacious family homes.
St John’s Wood sits in the heart of the sought-after NW8 post code area. It is in the Westminster North Parliamentary constituency.
Council Tax Bands
The smallest properties in Band A would expect to pay a council tax bill of £451.16 while properties in the average Band D would receive a bill for £676.74. The most expensive homes in Band H would receive a total bill of £1,353.48
Buyers can expect to pay £1.28 million for an average two-bedroom flat while the average asking price for a three-bedroom terrace starts at £2.37 million.
Spacious five-bedroom family homes start at around £5million while grand houses in prized roads such Cavendish Avenue, Hamilton Terrace and Avenue Road have been known to fetch up to £60million, making it one of the capital’s property price hotspots.
Closer to St John’s Wood High Street, elegant detached and semi-detached properties with neo-classical porticos give way to a number of handsome red brick mansion blocks.
Properties currently on the market are mostly in stylish portered blocks however buyers can find cosy mews houses in the surrounds of St John’s Wood Terrace and Ordnance Mews.
Those looking for quirkier accommodation will not be disappointed by a selection of two and three bedroom flats currently available in the eaves of a former baptist church on Abbey Road. Work has also recently started on a 163 property development on the site of the former St John’s Wood military barracks in Ordnance Hill.
St John’s Wood boasts a number of sought-after primary and secondary schools, with the American School in London just a stone’s throw from the underground station and proximity to the French Lycée proving a draw for the international community.
George Eliot Junior School on Marlborough Hill has been rated ‘outstanding’ by Ofsted while Robinsfield Infant School on Ordnance Hill and Barrow Hill Junior school are both rated as ‘good’ schools.
Popular independent schools St John’s Wood Pre-Preparatory School and St Christina’s Catholic schools have built up a reputation for preparing students for entry into some of London’s top-performing schools. The independent Arnold House School for boys and the co-educational Abercorn School nurture academic success at prep, junior and senior school levels.
St John’s Wood Underground station is in Zone 2 of the London Underground and is just two stops away from Bond Street on the Jubilee Line. A leisurely walk through Regent’s Park takes you to the West End in a matter of minutes and buses provide good links through north London and the centre of town.
Landmarks and history
St John’s Wood takes its name from the Knights of the Order of St John, who acquired this pocket of the Great Forest of Middlesex in the 14th century.
The area enjoyed growing popularity as a residential retreat for painters, sculptors and conductors throughout the 18th and 19th centuries before the area’s musical heritage flourished with the arrival of the Rolling Stones and the Beatles throughout the 1960s and ‘70s. Music aficionados flock to Abbey Road Studios where the Beatles recorded ‘Abbey Road’ and can often be found replicating the Beatles’ iconic zebra crossing image.
The tree-lined avenues trailing off the high street are dotted with blue plaques commemorating illustrious sculptors, painters and engineers of the 20th century and a variety of churches, mosques and synagogues complete the picture of St John’s Wood’s thriving and diverse community.
Shopping and culture
Head to St John’s Wood High Street for bustling cafés and a cluster of popular independent delis and boutiques. Prime destinations for shoppers are the Bread Shop, which offers a wide range of organic, spelt-flour and German inspired pretzels and patisserie while the well-established Kent and Son’s butchers have built up a reputation for award-winning hand-made sausages and excellent service.
Florists shops Dansk’s and Drake and Algar’s add a splash of colour with imaginative street and window displays while children’s shop Igloo stocks designer clothes and toys and is just a short hop from the multi-coloured selection of authentic Italian ice cream at Gelato Mio.
For the seasoned shopper, there is also a number of high-end ladies’ fashion and leather goods boutiques. Panzer’s Deli on Circus Road offers a wide selection of fresh fruit, vegetables and international foods catering to a dizzying array of culinary tastes.
Eating and drinking
Food lovers are well provided for in this corner of north London with traditional Gallic cuisine served up by award-winning French chefs and friendly waiting staff at Blenheim Terrace’s L’Aventure.
Those looking for a stateside experience head to Harry Morgan’s on the High Street, which offers one of London’s best-loved New York style deli experiences.
Hearty lunches and English breakfasts are the order of the day at Richoux on Circus Street, where locals often meet for a cream tea after a sunny afternoon of spectating at Lord’s cricket ground.
There’s also a good choice of friendly local pubs including the Duke of York and the Ordnance Arms, which offers a selection of ales and top quality pub lunches.
Sport and leisure
Sports lovers head in their droves to Lord’s cricket ground to watch some of worlds’ best sportsmen enjoy the national past time in an impressive circular stadium known as the ‘home of cricket’. Despite its imposing size, Lord’s maintains the area’s village feel with locals and visitors invited to take official tours of the grounds and afternoon tea overlooking its pristine lawns.
In addition to hosting international tournaments it is also the training ground for the famous Marylebone Cricket Club, which makes use of its facilities to play over 500 fixtures per year.
Nearby Regent’s Park is the largest outdoor sports area in central London, with running, football and a host of sports clubs making good use of the park’s well-kept pitches. More relaxed visitors can take a leisurely stroll around the rose gardens or rent a pedalo for a sunny tour around the boating lake.
Good for kids
Bright Horizons offer nursery and pre-school play sessions with an emphasis on fun and creative learning. A short walk to Regent’s Park takes you to London Zoo - one of London’s prime visitor attractions and home to 12,000 species of animals.
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